We’re warmly embracing democracy this July! We’ve watched Boston generate stellar results in its youth PB process, had a very successful benefit and PB2 ballot of our own, and are looking for two new members to join our team in Greensboro, North Carolina!
1. Award and results from Boston’s Youth Lead the Change
“I’ve been managing millions since I was a teenager,” read the shirts of the young people who joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as he received the City Livability Award from the US Conference of Mayors this past weekend.
Young Bostonians took part in the city’s “Youth Lead the Change” PB process, organized by the Mayor and his youth council. Residents ages 12 to 25 decided to spend $1 million dollars to fund four initiatives that focused on increasing the accessibility, health, and vitality of Boston.
“Think about the name of the award,” said Shari A. Davis, the Executive Director of Boston’s Department of Youth Engagement and Employment. “Think about livability, and how our residents are really taking ownership and shaping what livability means in the City of Boston.”
The winning projects included:
an extension of the Hubway bicycle system to more neighborhoods ($101,600);
expanding the Wicked Free WIfi system to neighborhoods where there isn’t a lot of free or inexpensive wifi, with a special emphasis on schools and community centers ($119,000);
installing water bottle refill stations in public parks to encourage and facilitate the use of reusable water bottles and keep park-goers healthy and hydrated ($260,000);
and a renovation of the Boston Latin Academy gym including floor renovations, bleacher repair, and painting ($475,000).
Young people involved in PB are more informed about and excited by the workings of government, and equipped with the tools they need to be thoughtful decision makers.
We are excited to see young people leading civic life and with Seattle stepping up to launch a city-wide youth process, the trend is growing!
2. Your results from this year’s PB2 voting
Every year, our donors decide how part of their donations are spent through our own participatory budgeting process, called PB2. This year the pot of money made it to $16,000!
Tied with 93 votes we are able to fund:
PB in Schools Curriculum: $8,000
Toolkit: Organizing Marginalized Communities in PB: $5,000
3. We’re hiring in Greensboro
We are seeking a Community Engagement Coordinator and Project Assistant to support a new participatory budgeting process in Greensboro, NC! Over the next year, the City of Greensboro will engage thousands of residents in directly deciding how to spend $500,000. Help us advance participatory democracy and apply now!
4. PB advocacy wins in Seattle, Buffalo and Hartford
In each city local PB champions contracted us to provide support for their advocacy efforts, and we worked with them to win new PB processes – a youth process in Seattle, a $1.2 million capital fund process in Hartford, and a pilot program in Buffalo!
In each city local PB champions contracted us to provide support for their advocacy efforts. Together, we are excited to launch new approved PB processes in each city!
If you’re working to bring PB to your city, let’s work together.
5. New PB report
We have empowered more than 100,000 people in 10 cities to directly decide how to spend more than $98 million in public funds on 440 community projects.
6. Drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and participatory democracy: this year’s #PBParty
On Tuesday, June 16th, PBP friends and supporters gathered in Chelsea, NYC for a PB Party!
Honorees included members of The Democracy Fund, The Community Development Project, and Silaka Cox of the Rockaway Youth Task Force.
The event was emceed by activist, columnist, and television commentator Sally Kohn, who had a surprising amount of success coming up with participatory budgeting jokes!
Guests were also excited to vote in PB2 (see above for results)!
The event wouldn’t have been possible without tremendous support from our sponsors, our hosts at the 8th Floor Gallery, and especially from our amazing event coordinator Dana Schneider.
We hope to see you next year!